Monday, June 22, 2015

Alpha Loom by Rainbow Loom | How to Use & FAQs #happyfathersday

Together with the new Hair Loom Studio Double {kit to put Rainbow Loom creations in your hair}, I got the new Alpha Loom kit as well. It's supposed make looming those thick, personalised bracelets with alphabets and patterns much easier and faster.

Each kit comes with 1 Alpha Loom, 1 Alpha Comb, 1 metal hook, 48 C-clips, around 600 Alpha Bands {red, black, yellow, white & blue}, around 600 clear Rainbow Loom bands and 1 instructions manual.

In the manual are handy picture tutorials on how to use the Alpha Loom as well as sample layouts for the alphabets, basic shapes and symbols. It also has a sample design template which you can photocopy, or download blank Alpha Loom design templates here

For my first Alpha Loom creation, I decided to make a personalised black & white bracelet for the boy as a diy gift for his Father's Day!! Handmade gifts are still the best, I feel. Last year I made him a one-of-a-kind Luffy Rainbow Loom doll for Father's Day which he still cherishes.

The hardest part was actually planning the bracelet design to make sure that the alphabets were evenly spaced and in the middle of the bracelet. I used 5 rows, instead of all 7, to save on the bands as I wasn't sure if there were enough of each colour to finish up. Thankfully, there was. Phew!

For the alphabet design, I referenced from Justin Toy's alphabet chart as each alphabet design is "bolder" than the ones shown in the kit manual, so can show up easier on the bracelet.

After the design work, the looming bit was actually pretty easy once you got the hang of it. Even though it's small and portable like the Monster Tail loom and Finger Loom, I think it's better to work at the table when using the Alpha Loom as full concentration is needed. If you make a mistake on any row, it'll mess up the whole creation.

I found that the Alpha Comb was extremely useful in making the work less tedious and faster since it can hook up all the rows at one shot. I completed the boy's adult bracelet in about 1.5 hours {including time to sort the colours}, and it was just my first try!

Also, the specially-designed Alpha Bands means that there's no need to double-loop or use 2 bands to get the same thickness or tightness that's usually seen in thick bracelets or character looms. I made a "Mum" charm for my mummy but with the regular Rainbow Loom bands. Since I had to double-loop it each time, it took a longer time. Actually, next time I might just use Alpha Bands in my character looms too. So much more convenient!

Can't wait to work on other name bracelets and cute designs for Hello Kitty, Pac Man, Disney Princesses etc.!

Lil Pumpkin made a Father's Day card for her daddy dearest. I think her drawing of him was pretty spot-on!! We love you very much dear!

Wishing all dads, especially hubby & my own dad, a very Happy Father's Day too!
Thanks for being the pillar of strength and support in all our families

Frequently Asked Questions {FAQs}

1. Where can I buy the Alpha Loom kit?
In Singapore, you can get an official Alpha Loom kit from Rainbow Loom Singapore and their listed retailers. It costs S$19.90.

2. Are Alpha Bands the same as usual Rainbow Loom bands?
No, Alpha Bands are specially designed for the Alpha Loom so are flatter, smaller and less stretchy. Alpha Bands can stretch up to 3 pegs, while normal Rainbow Loom bands can stretch up to 7 pegs.

3. Where can I buy Alpha Bands refill?
Currently not sold in Singapore {will update later if I see them}, but you can order online at the Rainbow Loom US website. Colours are quite limited though as it's still a very new product {just released in mid-May 2015}. 

4. What if I don't have Alpha Bands in the colours I want?
Just use the regular Rainbow Loom bands! They’re a little larger than the Alpha Bands, so double-loop it each time, or the creations will turn out larger.

5. Is it difficult to use?
I'd say it is not for Rainbow Loom beginners or young children like Lil Pumpkin {kit is recommended for kids aged 8 and over}, but definitely not hard to pick up either. Prior knowledge on how to use a normal Rainbow Loom is really useful.

6. Where can I find more Alpha Loom creation ideas?
Check out Loom n' Bands for free Alpha Loom pattern templates, online tutorials from e.g. Made for Mummy, and of course my fave Pinterest {see my Rainbow Loom board} for inspiration (⌒▽⌒ゞ

7. Any tips for using?
a. As with other Rainbow Loom creations, follow a basic template first to practise before starting on harder designs or improvising your own.
b. Always hold the Alpha Loom with the circle facing towards you so that it lines up exactly with your pattern template.
c. Cross out the row you've finished on the design template so that you won't get confused at where you're at.
d. Try to finish your creation in one sitting so that it doesn't stay on the loom too long & gets over-stretched.
e. Never forget your row connectors!

8. What if I made a mistake?
Watch this video on how to fix an Alpha Loom mistake.

If you have the Alpha Loom too, I'd love to see the designs you've made! Come email me your photos or share with me on Facebook page & Instagram! (★^O^★)

* Disclosure: This is a review for Rainbow Loom Singapore. All opinions are my own.



Stacy said...

Oh this is a good variant too. Love being able to personalise the band.

(Erm but I can't even remember how to do loom bands already!)

Theresa Mahoney said...

You make the coolest loom creations!

Wishing you all a very happy Father's Day!

An Apel a Day said...

That's really cool! I never thought to make one with letters on it. Isaak got a set of circle looms for his birthday. My husband just started to make his first hat with them.

Masshole Mommy said...

You guys are really good with that loom! I love the bracelet.

mail4rosey said...

You've got good tips here. I think the presents for dad were awesome!

Indah Nuria Savitri said...

happy father's day... lovely gift indeed. How long does it take to finish one?